Date of Graduation

Winter 12-16-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Dr. Rick Ferm

Second Advisor

Dr. Jamie Sayers

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrea Zorbas


African-American female-identified individuals continue to be one of the smallest subgroups of licensed therapists. However, this group continues to grow steadily and offer services to a broad array of clientele. While the aims of literature have grown to include populations that have been historically marginalized, the research surrounding African-American female-identified therapists is scarce. Deep understanding of their lived experiences while navigating the multifaceted nature of clinical work has been grossly overlooked. This study aimed to qualitatively analyze the lived experiences of African-American female-identified therapists who work with diverse populations using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Since the nature of clinical work is multifaceted, this research also examines experiences related to graduate training, relationships with colleagues, and future directions in the field. The researcher interviewed six licensed therapists about their lived experiences navigating clinical encounters with culturally diverse clientele. Through analysis of transcripts, clustering of data, and inclusion of direct quotes from participants, this study helps to illuminate various areas of challenge and triumph African-American female therapists navigate in their clinical work. Along with these personal accounts, several recommendations and hopes for the future of African-American female therapists and the clients they serve were also brought forth.